Here! Me! Challenge accepted, I desperately need a FP1 battery!
Of course they didn’t guarantee that the FP1 would work for more than 3 years, no company does that. And they didn’t claim that it was build to last period, but that it was build to last longER. It was Fairphone who implied the comparison to all the other companies - the whole success strategy of Fairphone (and other sustainable products) is based on being compared to the available options on the market (ergo Apple & Co) and then to stand out by unique - sustainable - features that make them worth the extra costs (price, time, etc.). And Fairphone did claim longevity as one of those features.
Now the problem, I think, is whether we consider a life-span of up to 3 years to be longer than the one of other phones available on the market back then. And in my experience, sadly, it is not. With reasonable care, the hardware of phones by other companies can last as long or longer. And the FP1 could too! Many users are posting that their phones work fine, they just need a new battery or display. I’m certain our FP1s could live for other 2 years if we had the spare parts. So to me, this actually feels as if Fairphone is forcibly killing off the FP1 before its time (not very sustainable…) but that is just my low-tech perception.
The recent official communications tie longevity only to the FP2 but back in 2015, they were still putting FP1 and longevity in one sentence. On the Fairphone Blog, there is a whole category dedicated to long-lasting design which includes several posts about the FP1 (mainly dedicated to software longevity, though).
The first thing I found was this post from 2015 about giving the FP1 long-term support. They literally write in the end “While we’re still in the exploratory phases along these tracks, we do hope it’s clear that we’re committed to supporting our Fairphone 1 owners in the future. Thanks for sticking with us on this path to improve our phone’s longevity.”
It’s now less than 2 years after that post and they just abandon us. I feel very disappointed as I was aiming for a life-span of around 5 years (because I’m low tech and I can live with some shortcomings) BUT I do understand that perceptions about time are relative and subjective. For the Fairphone team and others, 3 years may actually feel like a longer life span and thus the promise would be fulfilled. Tough choice for Fairphone, I get why it’s necessary but it still sux for us early fighters.
P.S.: I brought the FP1 to Peru, was mocked there for 3 years for having a phone that had so many problems and had cost so much, but I always defended my beloved phone and the idea behind it. Namely because of the longevity. Now I lost my battery and despite my phone working just fine, and I’m told by the company to buy a new one. Déjà vue. So pleeeeease help me extend my FP1’s life and sell me your battery!